WTF Stock Art Sites?!: An Open Letter to Stock Art Sites (and Photographers Who Sell Their Work There)
Dear Stock Art Sites and Photographers who Sell Their Work There,
What are you even thinking?
No, really. I mean that in all seriousness.
What the actual merciless fuck is the matter with you?
Have you seen some of the weird shit that ends up on royalty-free photo sites?
Look, I get it. Not everyone who uses your site is trying to find appropriate looking models or images for cover art and promo for books. I realize that a lot of pop psychology articles and/or think pieces feature a good many of your photos. As do myriad advice columns, and blog posts (including yours truly) but dudes, I’m mostly there for photos that my brilliant cover artist can turn into cover art for my books. Honestly, a lot of people are there for that reason. So, we need to talk. There are some things you guys need to cut the fuck back on.
Unless you’re new here, you won’t be surprised to learn that I have a list of things
that annoy me we’d all like to see a lot less of. So, let’s begin, shall we?
Why are there so many photos of people taking selfies and/or using phones in inexplicably weird ways? Yes, I’m aware that many think pieces have been written about people’s selfie fixation. Then, there are the memes and bitchy, self-righteous facebook posts. The people making memes are usually using actual selfies, not stock art. And while I have no problem with people taking selfies, (Do it up! I wish I had that skill.) as far as the stock art goes, literally no one needs hundreds of pages of photos of people taking selfies. No. One.
While we’re on the topic of phones, I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the plethora of photos of people talking on their cell phone at weird and unlikely times.
If you really want to show people using their cellphones in their natural habitat, there would be page after page of people sitting on the toilet chatting or playing Words with Friends while waiting in a school parking lot for their kids.
While we’re on the topic of people doing inexplicably weird things whilst on the phone, we need to talk about the preponderance of Santa hat photos. No really. There are so many. Like…a terrifying amount. I mean, I like the holidays as much as the next person, but the sheer volume of models in Santa hats makes literally no sense. You guys, there are thousands.
Another common stock art standard is the thumbs up pose. I picked this one because Santa hat. (See? They’re everywhere.) Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to use the thumbs up pose sarcastically. Like when my husband asks me how the story’s coming.
But all the people on the stock art sites seems so damn earnest in their thumbs up giving. Why? Why are you people so earnest about it? Is the photographer blackmailing you? Is that what’s going on here? Are you signaling for help? (Oh, and the selfie douche? Scroll back up – he’s also giving the thumbs up. What the hell, man?)
In keeping with the technology theme, I’d like to address headphones. You find a model that you’d really like on a book cover (not this guy) and bam! giant headphones lousing up your cover art vibe.
Look, I like being outside. I even like working outside. However, you can’t sit in direct sunlight and expect to be able to see anything on your screen. Also, what the fuck is with this guy. Have you even computered before, dude?
There are also an alarming amount of pictures of women posing “seductively” with their blowdryers. I am…not sure what’s happening here. Or why. But I do know that I’m profoundly uncomfortable.
Also, please stop with the stupid hats that ruin otherwise cute-ish photos that could work for cover and promo art. Just lose the damn hats. They’re ruining everything.
See? This kid knows the pain of a bad hat.
We need to talk about all the hearts. They’re everywhere on stock art sites. Paper hearts. Puffy hearts. Dough hearts. Rock hearts. Balloon hearts. They’re like a flea infestation in a dairy barn. Weirdly, the majority of the hearts are hiding people’s faces. What does that mean? And why are so many people hiding behind hearts? I need someone to explain the psychology of this to me.
Please just stop already with the hearts.
Apropos of nothing, what is with nearly every couple having a Jack and Rose pose on stock art sites?! That shit needs to stop.
While we’re talking “romantic” images, what the hell is it with one partner looking really into it, but the other one looks…
Speaking of couples, are these two about to get it on in their kid’s preschool classroom?! What the actual merciless fuck are we supposed to get from this photo besides a deep sense of discomfort and shame?
Speaking of kink…
I would very much like someone to explain the absolutely baffling fuckery of this photograph.
Tiny apartment sized ironing board? Check.
Itty bitty travel iron? Check.
Portrait of judgmental cat? Check.
Late 80s bridal lingerie? Check.
Dude with sardonically arched eyebrow and buttchin? Check and check.
WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE????
Then…there’s this. I have zero words for this super low-budget ren faire photo, and that’s coming from someone who actually enjoys ren faires.
I could go on for pages about stock art.
And probably days.
No, I could definitely go on for days. There are just so many inexplicable photos there. Which stock art photos baffle you the most?